The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Dietrich Enns at AAA, and Chance Adams at AA, both of whom have been exceptional this year, have been moved to the bullpen and basically shut down due to innings limits.

AAA: SWB won 4-0. Combined 3-hitter. Nestor Cortes 5 2/3 IP, no hits. Luis Severino 2 1/3 IP, 5 K. Enns 1 IP. Donovan Solano 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2 hits, RBI for both Mason Williams and Rob Refsnyder.

SWB’s Magic # for clinching the division is 3.

Earlier in the day, OF Ben Gamel was named International League MVP.

AA: Trenton won 6-4. Mark Payton 2-run HR. 2 hits Miguel Andujar, 2 RBI Tyler Wade. 2 hits, rbi for Abiatal Avelino. Trenton stays 1 1/2 back of Reading for the division, and have already clinched a wild card spot.

High A: Tampa had already won the first-half title. They were scoreless in the second inning when rain suspended the game. It should be completed today.

Low A: Charleston had already won the first-half title. they lost 2-0, getting just 3 hits.

Game 131. Yanks escape with 5-4 win in 10, finalize Nova deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks escaped a tricky situation in the bottom of the 10th and beat the Royals 5-4 on Tuesday night.

The win puts the Yanks at 68-63. They are in fourth, 6 1/2 back. They are 3 1/2 out of the final playoff spot, but need to jump four teams.

Aaron Judge got the scoring started in the second inning with his 3rd HR, a 2-run shot. Later that inning, Brett Gardner walked and scored on a double by Jacoby Ellsbury.

Ellsbury had four hits in the game, including the game-winner.

In the third, the Yanks went up 4-0 on singles by Gregorius, Castro and McCann and a SF by Headley.

Tanaka gave up a run in the third, and another in the fourth. A rain delay forced him out of the game after five innings.

KC pecked away, scoring a run in the sixth and another in the eighth.

Meanwhile, the Yanks were blowing scoring chances. They were 2 for 16 w/RISP on the night, and left 13 on.

But in the tenth, they pushed a run across. McCann and Headley singled, and after Judge and Austin each struck out, Gardner walked. An infield single by Ellsbury made it 5-4 Yanks.

Then they escaped. Ben Heller started the 10th by hitting a batter. A SB and single put runners on the corners with no out. A Stolen bases made it 2nd and 3rd, no out.  Heller got a strikeout, then intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases and set up a DP. In came Chasen Shreve, who got a strikeout and flyout to end the game.

Tanaka 5 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 walks, 4 K. 3.12
Warren 0 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.29. (Cubs/NYY) Faced two batters, gave up 2 hits.
Layne (H, 6) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.41 (Bos/NYY)
Clippard (H, 18) 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, UNEARNED, 0 H, 2 walks, 1 K. 3.42 (AZ/NYY)
Betances (BS, 4; W, 3-4, 2.15) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K.
Heller (H, 1) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 1 K, 1 HBP. 9.00
Shreve (S, 1) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 5.20

The Yanks finalized the deal for Ivan Nova. From the Pirates, they get:

OF Tito Polo and LHP Stephen Tarpley.

Polo: 22, righty hitting OF, just 5’9″. This year Low and High A combined, .289-16-65, 37 SB. Nice speed, and some pop for a little guy. In 2015, in low A, he only hit .236 with 3 HR but stole 46 bases.

Tarpley: 23, LHP. This year at High A: 6-4, 4.32 in 20 starts. He was 11-4, 2.48 at Low A in 2015.

To show you how weak the free agent class will be this offseason, I read where the best pitcher on the market may very well be: Ivan Nova.



The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: SWB lost 6-2. They got just three hits. The pitchers combined for 14 K, 13 by the relievers after they replaced the failed starter in the third. Jake Cave double, 2 RBI. SWB’s magic # to clinch the division is 4.

AA: Trenton won 8-7 in 11 innings. 3-run HR Dustin Fowler. Mike Ford a 2-run HR. Dante Bichette, Jr. 4 hits, double, 2 HRs, 3 RBI. Thunder pitchers struck out 14. They have clinched a playoff spot, and are 1 1/2 back of Reading for the division lead.

High A: Tampa got just four hits in getting shut out, 2-0. Yefrey Ramirez the hard-luck losing pitcher. 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 8 K. Tampa already won the first-half division title.

Low A: As with Tampa, Charleston had already won the first-half division title. They were off on Monday.

Game 130. Yanks fall, 8-5.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Michael Pineda gave up 3 runs in the first inning, and the Yanks never recovered in losing to the Kansas City Royals, 8-5, on Monday night.

Pineda’s struggles, and Eovaldi’s injury that will cost him the rest of this year and all of 2017, have me believing that the Yanks will be making a trade for a starter this offseason. I do say trade, because the free agent market is weak.

The Yanks got a run in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Gregorius and Castro, but the bullpen let the game get away in the seventh, when KC scored five to make it 8-1.

Pineda started the inning by giving up a pair of singles, but then the bullpen let those runners—and more—score.

The Yanks tried to come back, scoring four in the eighth. Ellsbury reached on catcher’s interference (for the 11th time this year, extending his MLB record) and Hicks walked. Sanchez was HBP to load the bases. Gregorius doubled in two, and Castro hit a SF. After a groundout, Headley singled to make it 8-5, but that was it.

Pineda (L, 6-11, 5.12) 6+ IP, 5 R, 7 H, 0 walks, 8 K.
Layne 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.44 (Bos/NYY)
Parker 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 walk, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.50 (Sea/NYY)
Yates 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 4 K. 5.40.

I wish Girardi would throw away the book and stop using LOOGY’s. Layne got his guy. Then Joe went matchups and got burned by Parker. Guy does well, leave him in.

The Yanks fall to 67-63. 32 games left to go. They are in 4th place in the division, 7 1/2 out. They are 3 1/2 out of the second WC spot, but must jump 5 teams.

I think to get there, they better be looking at going 23-9 the rest of the way. I don’t think anything less will do it. That will mean 90 wins. I don’t think 87 (20-12 from here on out) will be sufficient.

The Minors. SWB pitchers strike out 22 in their 3-1 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

There will be a lot of minor league postseason action soon.

AAA: SWB’s Jonathan Holder, in relief, struck out 11 straight batters, and after giving up a hit, struck out another in retiring all 12 of his outs via strikeout in SWB’s 3-1 win. Bryan Mitchell started, and gave up 1 unearned run in 3 2/3 IP, striking out 8. SWB struck out 22 Rochester batters in the game. Chris Parmalee with 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI.  SWB, 84-51, has clinched a playoff spot, and has a four game lead in the division. Their magic # for clinching the division is 5. They have the best record in the league.

AA: Trenton  (83-51) won 4-3 in 11 innings.   2-run HR Mark Payton. 3 hits Miguel Andujar. 2 doubles Mike O’Neill; 2 RBI for Abiatal Avelino. Trenton is in 2nd place, 1 1/2 back of Reading, and can still take the division, but did clinch a playoff spot.

High A: Tampa (77-55) won 8-2. Justus Sheffield 0 R, 1 H in 5 IP. Thairo Estrada 3 hits. 4 hits and 1 RBI for Gleyber Torres. 3 hits, 2 RBI Trey Amburgey. 3 hits, 3 RBI Rashad Crawford. Zack Zehner 2 rbi. Tampa had already clinched a postseason berth by being the first-half (split season) division champs.

Low A: Charleston won 2-1 in 10 innings. Christian Morris 6 IP, 1 unearned run. Ricardo Ferreira 2 hits. Charleston (72-60) did the same as Tampa. First half (split season) champs, so they clinched a playoff spot already.

Game 129. Yanks blanked, 5-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Maybe I should go away for the weekend more often.

Or take more time off of work and stay longer. (Actually, it’s a weekend retreat, so I couldn’t stay longer).

While I was away, the Yanks beat the Orioles 13-5 on Friday night and 14-4 on Saturday afternoon. Gary Sanchez homered in both games to become the fastest player to hit 11 homers. Starlin Castro homered, Mark Teixeira got one (#405 career), Hicks, even Headley, who must have seen my criticism of him the other day when he complained about playing time and I basically said shut up and produce.

Then I come home Sunday afternoon and the Yanks lose 5-0. Sanchez did have a single and double, and is hitting .405. Ronald Torreyes, who has for now taken Headley’s job, had two more hits.

With Sanchez and Torreyes hot, McCann and Headley’s playing time has decreased.

Before the loss, the Yanks had hit their high water mark of the year, six over .500. They are presently 67-62 with 33 games left. 4th in AL East, 6 1/2 out. As for making the playoffs, they are 3 1/2 out of the second wild card spot, but the problem is the logjam. They have to jump five teams.

As Al Davis, former Raiders’ owner would say, “Just Win, Baby.”

Steve Pearce had 3 hits, inc. a HR, and 3 RBI for the Orioles yesterday. A few years ago, he was doing well for SWB and I thought he should be brought up by the Yanks to platoon. A certain NY sportswriter criticized me. Let’s just say that I don’t care for the reporter or his rag of a paper, and have been proven right. Pearce has proven to be a decent platoon player. (.301-12-33 this year so far between the Rays and O’s, 21 HR as a part-timer in 2014 for the O’s).

CC pitched well, made one mistake, a HR to Pearce, left with some runners on, and instead of shutting down Baltimore and getting out of the inning, Adam Warren gave up a hit that let the inherited runners score. Ballgame over.

Sabathia (L, 8-11, 4.31) 6 2/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 walks, 8 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Warren 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.11 (Cubs/NYY)
Heller 2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2nd MLB game. 10.80
Parker 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 1.17 (Sea/NYY)

To the NFL for a bit.

I see Tony Romo of the Cowboys got hurt AGAIN. He didn’t play in the first two preseason games, and on the third play of the third preseason game—and first one he plays in—he gets a broken bone in his back. This after a couple of broken collarbones, one of which cost him 12 games last year (in which Dallas went 1-11). Now he is out for 2 months.  Maybe he  should just retire.

… and a big resounding BOO to Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand for the National Anthem. In what other country can you earn $19MM per year for doing what you do? And not too well lately, I may add. Spoiled brat.

Finally, back to baseball. Steve Arlin, a pitcher for the Padres in the early 1970s, in the first years of the Padres’ existence, passed away recently.



The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Leaving town for a couple of days. There will be no reports on Friday and Saturday games.

The Yanks were off. Some Yankees news: Apparently Chase Headley is complaining about lack of playing time recently because Ronald Torreyes is taking some playing time from him. Hey Chase. Shut up. If Torreyes has a 4 hit and a 3 hit game like he’s had this week, he’s gonna play. You are going to ride the hot hand. Plus, it’s not like you have been Graig Nettles this year. .253-11-40 with an OPS+ of 92 is a bit below average. Now if you were .253-20-70, that’s different. Let your bat and glove do the talking. Otherwise, zip it. BTW, Torreyes is some eight years younger than you are. If you haven’t heard, there is a youth movement going on. Also, Rob Refsnyder has been playing 3B down in SWB lately.

I hate when guys pop off about playing time. Let your performance speak for you.

Ok, I’ll get off my rant and give the minor league report.

Bryan Mitchell off the DL, assigned to SWB.

AAA: SWB won 4-0. Jordan Montgomery 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 walks, 8 K. Each member of the lineup had exactly one hit. Ben Gamel solo HR.

AA: Trenton lost 4-3. Double, HR & 2 RBI Mark Payton. Dustin Fowler with his 14th triple. Trenton batters struck out 13x.

High A: Tampa made four errors and lost 6-2. Tampa pitchers struck out 17. Rashad Crawford 2 hits.

Low A: Charleston lost 7-2. Hoy Jun Park 2 hits, rbi. 2 hits each: Luis Torrens & Austin Afenir.